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It's War, iTunes: Samsung To Get Loud On Music

By Oonagh Reidy | Thursday | 27/09/2012

Samsung want you to listen to them. To its music services, that is.

Click to enlarge
The Koreans are about to up the ante on its software business, a senior exec has indicated, and plans to unleash brand new services for 2013.

"We're preparing new services for launch early next year. With these offerings, people will start to think Samsung is good in software, too," Kang Tae-jin, Samsung senior VP of Media Solution, told Reuters.

However, what exactly some of these 'services' are remains a mystery.

But the world's No. 1 phone maker, Samsung, is getting set to buy mobile content providers, and aims to become among the top 4 music content services within 3 years.

"The message we're getting from the top is to raise software capability, and buy rather than build, if needed."

The move would not be to make money per se, but rather support its hardware operation--including its line of Galaxy smartphones and Tabs--and create a seamless, fully integrated software and hardware system for Samsung's millions of users.

"Our focus on software is primarily aimed at driving hardware sales, rather than making money. We have a full range of handsets in so many countries, and, to better market our products, we thought it's better to start our own software business," Kang said.

The move would also give Samsung a leg up against arch rival Apple, who has its own well established iTunes and rumoured to launch its own Pandora style streaming service, with hundreds of Internet-based radio stations streamed from the cloud.

Just two weeks ago, Apple announced a brand new iTunes featuring a redesigned player and integration with iCloud.

But its not just Apple that Samsung will be up against - Amazon cloud player, Google Music as well as independent streamers like Spotify, Pandora are all popular among music lovers.

"We want to grow the Music Hub to rank in the world's top four services within three years in both revenue and subscriber numbers," Kang said.

"And to shorten the time, we're ready to do more acquisitions, if needed." And Samsung are willing to dig deep to pay for it, he added.

Samsung already have an in-house Music Hub service available in Australia, US and parts of Europe that starts at A$9.95 a month, streaming tunes and music videos straight to Samsung devices.

The Korean giant even opened a pop-up store in Sydney pushing the new service last year, so clearly sees it as a major differentiator among rival mobile brands.

Samsung has made several acquitions already this year, and purchased cloud-based music locker mSpot in May for around $10m and British owned wireless technology experts CSR in July for $310m.

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